Torn series (Torn, Tangled) by Erica O’Rourke

When it comes to love triangles (especially among YA novels), I’m pretty sure that deep down, there’s always that one individual that everyone finds themselves rooting for—hoping and wishing that the main character grows a brain and chooses the right person in the end.  Despite the fact that we all love the obstacles these characters go through to reach that point, who the main character ends up with is usually a given. That said, there are only a few love triangles that have ever left me breathless. The number one spot for best love triangle goes to the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. Now that is a true love triangle—and beautifully written as well. Absolutely heartbreaking, bittersweet and beautiful all at once.

Love triangles, if carefully done, can be fantastic for a book. Jealousy can always make a plot more delicious, which is why I am a huge fan of love triangles. In the case of the Torn series by Erica O’Rourke, the love triangle between the main character and her two love interests is quite intriguing—despite the fact that I found myself confused at times and disappointed in how the main character manages herself amidst it all. Nevertheless, the love triangle in the books Torn and Tangled by Erica O’Rourke is definitely unique in its own way. It’s worth the read if you like brooding sexy men competing against charmingly reckless ones.

Torn Series Summary

Everyone has secrets.
Even best friends.

Mo Fitzgerald knows about secrets. But when she witnesses her best friend’s murder, she discovers Verity was hiding things she never could have guessed. To find the answers she needs and the vengeance she craves, Mo—quiet, ordinary, unmagical Mo—will have to enter a world of raw magic and shifting alliances. And she’ll have to choose between two very different, equally dangerous guys—protective, duty-bound Colin and brash, mysterious Luc. One wants to save her, one wants to claim her. Which would you choose?

First things first, I want to point out that I unfortunately do judge books by their cover (I just can’t help it!). If it hadn’t been for Sarah J. Maas’s recommendation, I probably would have never thought to pick up Torn. I’m usually not a fan of seeing the full face of the models used on book covers. I like to leave that up to my own imagination.

The main character, Mo, is not so bad. In fact, she’s got quite a backbone for someone who’s supposed to be a pushover. Mo is meant to be a quiet, nice and an ordinary girl. But to be honest, quiet and ordinary was not the impression I got from Mo at all. In fact, she’s written to be the type heroine we all seem to like. Brave, witty, and independent.  O’Rourke spends a good amount of time trying to convince us that Mo is as plain as a hospital wall, but I saw none of that. I mean seriously, why else would two incredibly attractive guys go crazy for her? If she was as boring as O’Rourke made her out be, I probably would have tossed the book aside by the first chapter.

Was I the only one that never got used to her name? Mo? Maura? Mouse? Every time her name was said out loud, I imagined the girl on the cover with rat teeth smiling up at me. Despite the fact that she was pretty cool, Mo still manages to irk me sometimes. The way she handles herself in certain situations was definitely frustrating to say the least. The girl was unquestionably ‘torn’. Torn between her men and the two worlds presented  to her on a silver platter. But where Mo lacked the ability to fully capture my heart, her love interests Colin and Luc definitely did. I loved them. Absolutely adored the way these two interacted with her. Colin and Luc were probably the main reasons I stuck with this book. They were both so different from one another and have characteristics in male leads that we all love.  Colin, is the type of hero you would see in a typical YA romance novel. Luc, however, is the type of hero you would see in a YA paranormal novel. So difficult to choose—yet, in the end, I found myself leaning a bit towards Colin.

Personally, I did not like the way Mo treated Luc and Colin. Yes, she was torn, but the girl needs a little lesson in self-respect when it comes to herself and men. She kissed both of them repeatedly without thinking about the consequences of her actions—no matter how minor they were (and she’s supposed to be innocent and naive).  In my opinion, she wasn’t really torn between the two men, she just accepted whoever presented himself to her at that particular time. Where was the guilt and turmoil? Though I do understand what O’Rourke is trying to do with this love triangle—presenting fate and freewill in the form of two incredibly gorgeous men—Mo certainly doesn’t seem worthy of the affection she received from them.

The plot was interesting—imagine the clueless best friend getting in on the action for once. However, I felt there were parts along the way that needed some work. I was seemingly confused whenever ‘magic’ was brought up—especially during the big epic scenes whenever Mo attempted to save the world. For the life of me, I couldn’t see what the O’Rourke was trying to illustrate. I just couldn’t picture it—making it extremely difficult for me to understand what on Earth was going on. Everything was so hectic and ‘magic’ seemed like such a general term to use for something so complex.  It was strangely vague…which makes the world building a little weak in my opinion. Surprisingly, I was more interested in the whole mob/mafia storyline—now that part made sense and was probably the reason why I felt more for Colin in the end.

With the magic and mob stirring up trouble for our main character, I was also surprised at how separate each component remained from one another. I get the whole ‘torn’ thing, but rarely did they seem to meet, especially since they played such a large part in Mo’s life. It was like two different stories in one book. At times, it was ridiculous because one moment you had Mo worrying that the world was ending and millions of people were going to die, and the next thing you know, she’s threatening her uncle about insurance fraud.  Luc and Colin hardly encountered one another and when she was with one person, she rarely thought of the other. It’s an interesting set up and perhaps I missed the point behind all of this, but I would have liked Mo’s worlds to collide more often.

O’Rourke is truly a talented writer and this book, despite some flaws, was very enjoyable. The best part is that the book is set in Chicago (where I’m from!). I loved knowing that I have walked and looked over the same streets that Mo had.  It made this a little bit more real for me. The Torn series definitely kept me up all night wanting more. Definitely a page turner.

Rating: 3/5
Theme Song: Everything –Lifehouse

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